LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The Los Angeles Police Department today released body-worn camera footage showing an officer being attacked inside the LAPD's Harbor Station in San Pedro by a suspect who has since been charged with attempted murder.
The video shows the suspect, identified as 29-year-old Jose Cerpa Guzman, come into the station at 2175 Johnson S. Gibson Blvd. about 10 p.m. Sept. 26 and get into a verbal altercation with the desk officer before briefly leaving, then re-entering the building.
Guzman approaches the officer, who is wearing the body camera. The officer holds his hands in front of his chest, seemingly to protect himself, and the suspect starts repeatedly punching him.
The officer falls to the ground and Guzman continues to attack him. The officer puts his hands around Guzman's neck, and the suspect grabs the officer's gun and pistol-whips him. He then points the gun at the officer and runs out the door, and the officer calls to another officer, “he's got my gun.''
The video shows the officer dripping blood onto the floor while a second officer exchanges gunfire with the suspect, who is outside the station. No one was struck by bullets, police said.The injured officer inside the station screams out to other officers to call an ambulance and says he's starting to black out.
Guzman fled from the scene and officers pursued him after observing his vehicle traveling southbound on Pacific Avenue, according to police. The pursuit ended near Pacific Avenue and 17th Street, where video footage shows Guzman ignoring officers' commands to get on the ground before he is tackled and taken into custody.
While Guzman is on the ground, the officers demand his hands to handcuff him while Guzman screams, seemingly in pain.
“Give us your hands, buddy, or you're going to get hurt,'' one officer says to him.
Guzman was charged on Sept. 29 with two counts each of attempted murder and assault with a semiautomatic firearm, along with one count each of second-degree robbery, evading and resisting an officer. He was ordered to remain jailed in lieu of $2.2 million bail while awaiting arraignment Oct. 16 at the Long Beach courthouse.
He could face a potential life prison sentence if convicted as charged, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.
The injured officer is expected to make a full recovery, according to LAPD Chief Michel Moore. The officer, whose name was not released, has more than 30 years of service with the department.
“I am grateful that the officer ... who was working the desk (and) came out to assist this individual to understand what his needs were, that he survived and that during this engagement that he did not lose his life," Moore said earlier. “He did not suffer the injury that apparently this suspect meant to inflict."
The attack came two weeks after a pair of Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department deputies were injured in Compton in an unprovoked shooting at a Metro station as they sat in their patrol vehicle.
Moore told the Police Commission late last month that assaults against police officers have risen 156% compared to this time last year.
The chief said 282 felony assaults have taken place against LAPDofficer compared to 110 this time last year. He also said most of the incidents took place during ongoing protests against police brutality that began in late May.